Blogger Prom Redux: Hollywood Confidential Glamourous

Blogger Prom Committee - Credit Heather Kincaid

I’ve been kind of busy these past few months. It all culminated a week ago at Yamashiro, atop the Hollywood hill that also hosts The Magic Castle. Indeed, it really was magical. All the hard work really paid off – at least from where we were standing. And it was fun to celebrate a culture that only continues to influence as well as permeate our urban lifestyle in Los Angeles. We tried to celebrate that in the best way we know how.

Credit - Heather Kincaid

With last year being an inaugural success, the Blogger Prom Committee and I had a solid boiler plate to improve upon for this year. While it was fun to recreate the ’80s, we knew that we wanted to keep things interesting and change it up. So, we decided to go even further back in time and a tad more grown-up. OK, maybe a lot more grown-up – as in glamorous Hollywood. We became inspired by a particular Los Angeles-specific movie chronicling crime, press and celebrity in the ’30s and ’40s; our theme was Hollywood Confidential. Fortunately, we also had the setting that would be the perfect backdrop for our theme – Yamashiro. Their team was an absolute dream to work with throughout the entire process, displaying the utmost in professionality and hospitality. I would recommend Yamashiro to anyone looking for a place to hold a high class event.

Chef Brock's tacos

…And the food! Who could forget the food? Chef Brock of Yamashiro brought his famous Garden Market tacos to the event as well as unveiled a brand new one incorporating Brock Family Farms’ sausage. They were delicious and perfectly complemented by his als0-famous wasabi guacamole and chips. Passed YamaBites were plentiful and guests enjoyed Asian-style ribs, albacore with jalapeno on fried crackers and more. We had Barrie Lynn, the Cheese Impresario, return from last year and educate us on the wonders of Wisconsin cheese. It is always a joy to have her and as a cheese fanatic, myself, I couldn’t be happier she was there. We also had amazing chocolates from Chocolate Box Cafe and Coolhaus ice cream sandwiches where you could customize your own sandwich.

Last year, it was an amazing thing to flex our star power and experience first-hand just what muscle L.A. bloggers have as influencers on our city. This year, we wanted to take it to another level and give back not only to bloggers but also to our community. And so, thanks to Blogger Prom Committee for taking on my suggestion of benefiting Operation Frontline Los Angeles. I became inspired by their ground-up approach to cooking and nutrition by providing classes to those who would otherwise not have access to these invaluable tools. (You can still donate to Operation Frontline Los Angeles here.) Admission to our closed event required a $10 donation to OFL, with Goldstar so graciously providing the donation ticketing. We ended up raising $2400 for the program. I’m proud that with all our resources, we could put on such a great event while benefiting a great cause.

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The Edison Happy Hours Return

Cocktail Hour at The Edison

The good news of the summer just keeps rolling in – and this one happens in popular downtown digs. The Edison reprised their recession-themed happy hour last night with the 35-cent Martini. Remember, this one is only on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 PM until 7 PM. (Or join their mailing list and print out the email to get two $0.35 martinis.) On Fridays during the same time frame you get the $1 Centennial Cocktail, which is named in honor of the one hundredth birthday of the Higgins Building. After your initial drink special, get a 40% discount applied to all Edison House Cocktails, well spirits, and select beer and wines by the glass.

Still not enough? There are more Happy Hour dining options to soak up those libations:

Every Wednesday – Friday, 5pm until 7pm, The Edison will offer a $5 menu that includes:

Vegetable Panini
Kobe Beef Slider
Chicken Wings
Grilled Cheese Sandwich

All items are served with a mountain of Edison or Tesla (sweet potato) Fries.

Feeling sluggish? The Dog Days of Summer at The Edison brings “A Dog & A Brew” – a giant kosher hot dog, a draft beer, and a slew of onion rings – all for $10!

Happy, indeed.

The Edison
108 West 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012-1585

Happy Hour
Wed – Fri: 5 – 7 PM
Wed – Fri: 5 PM – 2 AM
Sat: 8 PM – 2 AM

Balblair All-Vintage Single Malt Scotch Arrives on U.S. Shores With Fanfare

Getting a taste of Balblair 97 vintage

I can always use a lesson in single malt Scotch – it’s a chance to widen my experience and palate, and let’s face it: I’m partial to it. A few weeks ago, I tried Balblair – the distillery of which dates back to 1749 – for the first time. So did many other Americans since it just got introduced to the U.S. market. It was a privilege to be amongst the first to partake and celebrate. Incidentally, I met a few members from the Los Angeles Whiskey Society. Indeed, whiskey – or more specifically Highland Single Malt Scotch – brings us all together.

Balblair is a Highland Single Malt and the only that is all-vintage (older than 10 years). The 1991 ($129.99) and 1997 ($64.99) are the first two vintages available here, and needless to say – I thought the 1997 was very good but was very impressed by the 1991 vintage. Both have an ABV of 43% and are full-bodied. In the 1997, I experienced a rather spicy nose as well as a few citrus notes. The taste gave off much oak as well as spice – and some vanilla. The 1991, on the other hand, was a bit more sweet on the nose as well as taste with warmer notes overall than the 1997, even giving off the essence of toffee. Very delicious.

If I had occasion to give a generous gift to a seasoned whiskey drinker – I’d certainly pick up one of these bottles. Since it’s new to our market, your giftee will appreciate both your expertise and good taste. 😉 If you want to sip here in the city, try The Edison, Checkers and The Thirsty Crow (thanks to Maya of ShopEatSleep for that tip).

Further reading:
Loving Scotch Like Ron Burgundy – ShopEatSleep

Tasting the World’s Only Vintage Single Malt Scotch – Gourmet Pigs

Trying Balblair Highland Scotch – Tara Met Blog

The Balblair tasting was held at:

Edison Downtown
108 West 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012-1585

Wed – Fri: 5 PM – 2 AM
Sat: 8 PM – 2 AM

March Edison Radio Room Tonight

Globo Rojo #2 (Strawberries, Mezcal, Tawny Port & Bitters, Fruit, Smoke, Tannin)

It’s that time, again. Mixologists – mostly hailing from New York City - have flown in to show off their steez at The Edison in Downtown LA tonight. With Joe Brooke now firmly at the helm of The Edison’s cocktail program, there have been a few changes in protocol that we were made aware of at last night’s media preview. At tonight’s Radio Room, you will only be able to order each cocktail from the visiting mixologist who designed it via drink tickets at designated stations and servers. Edison staff will serve all other cocktails, food and beverages. An added perk on the food side as well: Christophe Happillon, who has for awhile now served oysters on the half-shell during Radio Room, will also have crab claws available!

Crab Claws by Christophe Happillon

Though most have flown in from the other coast, I enjoyed the cocktails from Seattle’s Zane Harris (of Rob Roy) probably the most. Last night at the media preview, the Globo Rojo #2 made me do a double-take with its smoky strawberry profile at the center. The other cocktail he brought us was the Vieux Cerde, made with 12-year Jameson, VSOP and a “drizzling” of Elisir M.P. Roux and bitters. It was truly a cocktail that made you think – in a good way – with a deep complexity that evolved the longer it lingered on your palate.

Following closeby as far as my favorite cocktails for the night were by Giuseppe Gonzales – currently at Dutch Kills and working on a new bar called Painkiller on the Lower East Side. The Wild Orchid (gin, almond, elderflower & red wine floater) and Infante (tequila, lime, orgeat, orange blossom water, nutmeg) both come from Dutch Kills and they were both incredibly refreshing in their own way. The red wine floater in the Wild Orchid, which is usually suspended when the drink made with crushed ice, added a bit of weight and color to what might otherwise be a lightweight concoction.  The Infante, which is Dutch Kills’ most popular cocktail, was like a sophisticated turn at the margarita – perfect with the added citrus of orange blossom and rounding out with a nutty finish from the freshly-grated nutmeg. Beautiful.

Zane Harris, Seattle

Don Lee, of Momofuku Ssam Bar fame, put together his Rite of Spring – which was a “fresh, seasonal take” on a classic Gibson. The base was vodka and also had rice vinegar, but with such a strong onion infusion in the cocktail, I thought gin might have blended better. Korean peppers further added complexity but I had a hard time with this particular vodka cocktail. Simon Ford (Pernod Ricard - New York & London), served up a cocktail named Good Morning, Vietnam, which featured gin, ginger and orange marmelade. I think by this time during the night (with yet another stop at First & Hope to come) my palate had gotten tired – as Maya swore she tasted the ginger, and I had tasted absolutely none. I tasted more lemon than anything, but it was still a welcome introduction to the Los Angeles spring to come.

Another bit of news: The Edison will have a new location in Manhattan in about 18 months. Now cocktail aficianados on the other coast won’t have to travel 3,000 miles to get their own dosage.

Cocktail menu ($14 each):

Wild Orchid (Giuseppe Gonzalez)
Infante (Giuseppe Gonzalez)
Rite of Spring (Don Lee)
Globo Rojo #2 (Zane Harris)
Vieux Cerde (Zane Harris)
Good Morning, Vietnam (Simon Ford)

Further reading:

Radio Room Preview Event & Announcing The Edison New York – Thirsty in LA

Preview of Tonight’s Radio Room at The Edison – LA & OC Foodventures

Q&A With Bartender Zane Harris – Food GPS

Q&A With Bartender Simon Ford – Food GPS

Tonight’s Radio Room at The Edison – ShopEatSleep

Sneak Preview of The Radio Room Tonight – Gourmet Pigs

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

8 PM

$10 entry

Radio Room at The Edison
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
108 W. 2nd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tonight: Joe Brooke Takes Over Radio Room and The Edison

So. What are you doing tonight?

It’s a good night as any to head downtown as Radio Room returns to The Edison. If you don’t already know, Radio Room is a sometimes-monthly event with only the best mixologists flown in from top bars from all over. Tonight, it’s Joseph Brooke – of Santa Monica’s Copa d’Oro and winner of America’s Top Bartender – who will be celebrating his new position as head of The Edison’s cocktail program. Also featured will be Brian Miller of New York City’s famous Death & Co. and Erick Castro of Bourbon & Branch and Rickhouse in San Francisco. Acclaimed for their own unique vision and distinctive drink profiles, each barman brings to Radio Room menus that include both signature beverages as well as cocktails created solely for this event.

I’ll see you tonight, drink in hand.

Further reading:

America’s Top Bartender is Now Tending Bar at The Edison – LA Weekly Food

Win Tickets to The Edison Radio Room (CONTEST CLOSED) – CarolineOnCrack
Includes cocktail menu

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

8 PM

$10 cover
Presale available

Radio Room at The Edison
108 W. 2nd Street #101
Los Angeles, CA 90012